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HIS 3380: Workshop in Historical Methods: Documents produced by Government

Government Information

Governments produce a lot of valuable information for researchers in history. There are laws, court cases, reports from different government agencies, congressional or legislative hearings and reports that can be extremely valuable to historical research. On this page are some of the government information from the Federal and Texas governments that has been made available online.

Presidential Documents

Image: Portrait of Abraham Lincoln

Presential Papers at the Library of Congress

The United States Census

The U.S. Census Bureau counts each resident of the country, where they live on April 1, every ten years ending in zero.  It includes populations of all states in the country, plus populations of counties and cities.  It also includes agricultural data, industrial/manufacturing data, and other information, such as number of schools by state. The link below takes you to a page where you can gain access to any census from 1790 to 2010.

LexisNexis Academic

Immigration Records

Territorial Papers

Congress passed the Ralston Act, in 1925, which authorized the Secretary of State to cause to be collected, transcribed, edited the papers relating to the territories of the United States.

The subject matter of this series of volumes is concerned with certain western tracts of land, acquired at various times and in various ways by the United States, which was governed by Congress and the National Executive as colonies or territories.The Territorial Papers of the United States consist of the official records of those Federal Territories which ultimately became States of the Union.


Not all territories have been complied into volumes; the last territory done was Wisconsin.


Federal Government Sites

Image: The Capitol Building of the United States

National Capitol building in Washington D.C


Supreme Court